Research is defined as an organised and systematic way of finding answers to the question. Market research is very fundamental in the launching of a new product into the market. This helps in determining or forecasting the customers that will purchase the product. This includes the customer’s income levels, their location and age among others.
For the researcher to be successful in carrying out the research he or she should be able to come up with the research objectives which are referred to as goals to be achieved at the end of the research. The researcher should ensure that the objectives are written in such a way whether they are achievable. In this case we find that the objective should be SMART which is S- specific, M-measurable, A- achievable, R-realistic and T-time bound. The researcher should put in mind that the overall objective usually means the topic of the study the researcher is covering while the specific objective means the breaking down of the general objectives in this case we find that the questionnaires answer the specific objectives (Hair, pp. 12-25).
The other step to be undertaken is the scope of research which is regarded as the depth of the research. It normally reflects on how detailed the findings of the researcher are. The researcher should be aware that the scope of the research is usually affected by the following factors; availability of time, availability of funds, availability of equipment and availability of subjects (Malhotra, pp. 13-30).
The other process that should be considered is the hypothesis which is defined as the prediction of the researcher regarding the outcome of his or her study. The hypothesis states the possible differences, relationships or causes between two variables or concepts. There are two types of hypothesis, the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis; here the researcher is free to choose which one to apply (Kotler, pp. 6-17).
The reasons to include the hypothesis is that it provides direction for the research, it ensures collection of correct information necessary for solving the research problem, to assess information collected whether it is relevant with the study, form the framework of making the conclusion. The researcher should be aware that the hypothesis is always formed before collecting data and a good hypothesis should be empirically testable (Hair, pp. 12-25).
The other part of research that should be included is the literature review which involves a thorough search of all knowledge on the problem to be researched on. This review also involves the investigations on various resources covered concerning the problem being researched on (Kotler, pp. 6-17).
While writing the literature review one should be able to know its importance which include; determining what has been done before to avoid duplication that may lead to plagiarising, identifying problems experienced by past researchers so as not to report the same, determining new approaches in studying the research problem, and to combine suggested techniques and recommendations by other researchers (Malhotra, pp. 13-30).
The other factor that should be considered while researching is the variable which is defined as a measurable characteristic in research that assumes different values among the subject. It is a logical way of expressing a particular attribute in a subject. A variable can usually be discrete meaning it is a variable which can be expressed quantitatively since it can only take a specific value in a given range (Hair, 12-25). It can also be continuous whereby one can assume any value within a given range such as 68-98. There are different types of variables where a researcher is free to select the one to be used in the study, they include; Independent variable this is a type of variable which a researcher manipulates in order to determine its affect or influence on another variable. Dependent variable this is called criterion variable which attempts to indicate influence arising from the effect of the independent variable. This type varies as a function of the independent variable. Intervening variable this is considered as a special case of extraneous variable. It comes between independent and dependent variables. It is mainly used in social science phenomenon (Kotler, pp. 6-17).
The researcher is advised to know that the quality of any findings of a research depends on the data collected. The quality of the data collected is a function of the nature of instruments and how they are used (Malhotra, pp. 13-30). There are various instruments used to collect data for a study and they include:
Questionnaires this consists of questions which are based on the objectives of the study (Hair, pp. 12-25).
Once a research problem has been identified and presented clearly, the next stage is to design the research. The research design provides a complete guideline for data collection (Kotler, Pp 6-17).
The data that is collected from the field and is not organised is referred to as raw data. This data is always organised in such a way that the researcher understands it and end up in an array that is in an ascending order (Hair, pp. 12-25).
Sampling in research is normally classified into two: the probabilistic and the non- probabilistic. Where the probabilistic involves each and every subject, object and situation where the respondent gets equal chance of being selected while the non-probabilistic sampling is where there is unequal chance of selection (Malhotra, pp. 13-30).
It is used where the population is homogenous. Homogenous is where characteristics of all subjects are similar, it is a very powerful sampling technique which is not biased (Malhotra, pp. 13-30). Systematic Random sampling, this sampling requires all the cases in the population included in the study. To obtain a truly random sample using this method, the list of all the members in the sampling frame must be random (Kotler, pp. 6-17).
Stratified random sampling the goal of this method is to achieve desired representation from various sub-groups in the population. The subjects are selected in a way that the existing sub-groups are more or less reproduced in the sample. The population is divided into stratum which means subgroups (Hair, pp. 12-25).It is used mainly when the study focuses on in depth information and not making inferences on generalisations (Hair, pp.12-25).
Hair, Joseph. Essentials of Marketing Research New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2007 Pp 12-25.
Kotler, Philip. A Framework for Marketing Management Fourth Edition, Pearson: Prentice Hall, 2009 Pp 6-17.
Malhotra, Naresh. Basic Marketing Research, a decision-Making Approach, Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2002 Pp 13-30.